Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Tagged: Cliff Edwards

When You Wish Upon a Star

First performed by Cliff Edwards (1940).
Hit versions by Cliff Edwards (US #1 1940), Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (US #1 1940), Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians (US #4 1940), Dion & the Belmonts (US #30 1960), Linda Ronstadt (MOR #32 1986).
Also recorded by Mary J. Blige, Barbra Streisand & Chris Botti (2013).

https://youtu.be/o3XAAxWy7lo

From the wiki: “‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ was written by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington for Walt Disney’s 1940 animated adaptation of Pinocchio. The song won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song, and was also the first Disney song to win an Oscar. It has since become the representative song of The Walt Disney Company (e.g., the ships of the Disney Cruise Line use the first seven notes of the song’s melody as their horn signals).

“The original version was sung by Cliff Edwards (‘Singin’ in the Rain‘) in the character of Jiminy Cricket, and is heard over the opening credits and in the final scene of Pinocchio. Edwards’ original recording for ‘Pinocchio’ won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Song. The American Film Institute ranked ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ seventh in their 100 Greatest Songs in Film History, the highest-ranked Disney animated film song.

Singin’ in the Rain

First performed and recorded by Ukulele Ike (US #1 1929).
Also performed by Judy Garland (1940).
Most familiar version performed by Gene Kelly (1952).

https://youtu.be/jVhZBxfq-0c

From the wiki: “‘Singin’ In the Rain’ is a song with lyrics by Arthur Freed and music by Nacio Herb Brown, published in 1929. However, it is unclear exactly when the song was written; it has been claimed that the song was performed as early as 1927.

“We do know it was first performed by Doris Eaton Travis in the 1929 revue The Hollywood Music Box Revue. The song became a hit and was recorded on disc by a number of artists, first and most notably by Ukulele Ike (Cliff Edwards) on May 28, 1929, in Los Angeles, for Columbia Records. Edwards would also perform the number on-screen with the Brox Sisters in the early MGM musical The Hollywood Revue of 1929. The song was also performed on film by Jimmy Durante in Speak Easily (1932), and by Judy Garland in Little Nellie Kelly (1940).”

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